New Simulants On the Market. Same Old Material, New Colors!
Well, as many know there is lots of work being done with “jeweler’s” silicas, aka man-made glass for jewelery usage, and they are now matching colors with Refractive Index to simulate certain natural stones, and with RI’s ranging in the 1.54-2.1 range, they can simulate almost any gemstone out there!
This particular one has the following properties:
•Hardness: 5 to 5.5
•Refractive Index: 1.52 to 1.69
•Specific Gravity: 2.3 to 5
So, as you can see, even the range on this particular material can allow them to even get many of the SG’s close to the simulated materials. Many are selling this material as it should be, but I have already seen and found it on Ebay and other websites being sold in jewelry in .99¢ starting auctions, $49.95 BIN, $99.99 BIN, etc. Supposedly in 14K yellow or white gold and some even being very daring and calling the metal Platinum, and so far, it is none of the above, lol. Seems the Gold contains a minute amount, but mainly some odd mixture which does look just like the real thing, same goes for the silver ones.
The reason for this warning now, is that there are two new materials that have just come out. The first is identical in color to nice almost top grade Ruby! Looks quite nice too! The other is more of a greenish color that color changes to a reddish-brown, it sort of mimics either an oddly colored color change garnet from Kenya or a very brightly colored color change chrysoberyl often sold on Ebay as Alexandrite. So, be on the look out for these materials! I will hopefully get some in here soon and get pics of it asap.
For the technical side of things, the glass is made in two separate ways. One is fused quartz, made by melting natural and synthetic
quartz crystals down and recrystallizing them into a silica based glass since we all know when quartz becomes molten it reforms as more of a glass like material. The other, which actually is silica glass, is created via a completely synthetic chemical process. Both forms are also typically used in making laser glass for laser lenses and such.